Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Alhaji Lamidi Akanbi Ariyibi Adedibu

Celebrating long life

A tradition would only be too evident in Nigeria at the ceremonies that would culminate in the burial of Chief A. M. A. Akinloye who died at 91 in Nigeria last week.

People would be dressed in blue rather than black because this was a life to be celebrated having been full of years, I once attended a wake-keeping in Nigeria of a very prominent man where I observed both this and his children being heartily congratulated for surviving their father rather than being condoled sadly for his death.

However, as soon as the news of the man’s death was announced people flocked to his family residence and had opportunity to write in the book of condolences opened for the event.

The book of condolences (judgments)

One of the entries made must not escape scrutiny and analysis because it corroborates the issue I raised in my blog yesterday about the death of Chief Akinloye and his legacy.

The visitor wrote and I quote – “My father, my mentor, my political architect who by the will of God made it possible for me to have recognition in the political history of the country. You promoted me, you lifted me up and gave me what I can never forever forget in my life, you prayed for me and the prayer had shown in me. Surely, you Adisa Olayiwola Akinloye will rest in the side of Almighty God because you have done very well to people with fear of God, God will not leave you.

Introducing Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu

The writer was Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, of whom no person of worth has praise or commendation. Of the many articles that have been written about this man, one talks of hoodlums who pledge allegiance to him wreaking havoc in Oyo State where he believes he reigns as potentate regardless of the traditional ruler.

The Chairman of the EFCC – Malam Nuhu Ribadu lamented that fact that many are not angry that the likes of Adedibu are in positions of leadership and these expressions are some of the more polite references to a man who has at one time been called a thug, a criminal and worse – without prejudice.

However, no better illustration can be made of the man than the one that damns him with praise – praise-singing a Yoruba tradition where mere mortals are eulogised to almost deity can well be a two-edged sword of commendation and outright rebuke at the same time.

Praise-singing a deeper truth

One writer recalls one minstrel now departed, Alhaji Odolaiye Aremu who begins with this as translated by the writer thus.

Adedibu, half of Ibadanland that the uninitiated erroneously describe as one person – that says it all, the man has become a law unto himself and an impediment to progress in Yorubaland, like his mentors and sponsors of old.

If in reality, Chief Akinloye did really elevate Alhaji Adedibu to this level of self-aggrandisement and political thuggery, I will speak no ill of the dead, but I would not lie to be nice, rather, silence is golden, but much has already been said.

That song

As for the song and write-up , this is the whole thing as translated with a few notes:

Adedibu, half of Ibadanland that the uninitiated erroneously describes as one person

Death that taunts before it strikes

Wicked man per excellence

Son of a witch who buys on credit and still demands extra

The man who deliberately injures and yet commiserates with his victim

The man who owes you and you dare not ask to be repaid

The owner rejects his inheritance, Adedibu accepts it

Akanbi who demands two pence from a man with only two and a half pence

Adedibu went to the Ibadan city centre and came back with several chickens

He did not buy them (the chickens),

He did not steal them (the chickens),

And nobody gave them (the chickens) to him as gifts,

The chickens just ran into a monumental calamity!

Beware the man

This is the man who thinks he now has recognition in the political history of Nigeria, what woe has befallen us that this man should find honour amongst the dishonourable. The legacy of Chief A. M. A. is personified in Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu.

Other references

Nigeria: Adedibu - 'Etteh is Yorubas' Only Hope' – Where he asks the president to halt a probe into what seems to be an misappropriation of funds in the House or Representatives.

Understanding the political machine called Lamidi Adedibu

When Thugs and Political Godfathers Call The Shots

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